Saturday, July 23, 2011

Salubrious Thoughts and Scrumptious Truffles!

It's stifling to be in someone else's body. 

I'm starting to look at myself as the thinner, healthier Kathy who I know is in there—waiting to appear. And I'm starting to act like she's already arrived. That identifies a whopping change to me. It's invigorating . . . I want to do more of the things I love, experience new things! Hey, I'm headed to the beach in a few days . . .

I'm almost at the 4 week marker—so how am I doing? Is this new mostly raw diet even feasible? Am I losing weight?

The main question I should ask is, "Am I healthier"?  

After all, that's the main purpose behind this trial lifestyle change. The folks at Hallelujah Acres have me convinced that eating an 85% raw vegan diet will make significant changes. I've met a number of people that ate that way for months reporting many benefits, from significant weight loss to a diabetic who was told he'd soon need dialysis, who no longer needed it. I'm eating at least 85% raw, though I've had just a few small portioned "meats" and probably two fresh eggs, and some plain yogurt (so I'm not totally eating vegan). And I cooked and ate just a few baked goodies made with spelt flour.
  • My blood pressure remains lower: 130/84 today. That makes me very happy, and I think it'll go lower if I can continue on this path. 
  • I've lost 8 lbs. total so far. It's motivating to stay the course, when despite my snacking on nut-filled crackers and cookies and some sweet treats, I'm still losing steadily. I'm sure I'd lose more if I watched those nuts and high calorie foods closer (there are some hefty raw foodists out there I found out), but this was a trial time to make some of those collected raw recipes and be more concerned about health than actual pounds lost.
  • My headaches are fewer, but not totally gone. I have several ideas about their etiology but I'm not certain. A wheat and or dairy intolerance may be one, and a structural neck problem is another.
  • My legs are not aching like they do sometimes (varicose veins), and I have more energy and feel like exercising more than I have in past months.
  • Last week was a bit stressful when our beloved companion of 15+ years, Gretel (miniature dachshund), died due to old age. I found myself wanting those comfort foods I had been used to in the past. I didn't go for that cappuccino, and I didn't do too bad, but I didn't like the feeling of "not caring" about my health and just being sad, missing our sweet little old dog. So it was tougher for me last week. I was in a different mood, and it does affect everything else around you.

After this next week, part of which I'll be vacationing in Florida visiting my sister, I'm going to maintain a simple meal plan and still keep healthy snacks on hand (I've got garlic zucchini spirals  and  pumpkin spice cookies in the dehydrator today). If I don't have a healthy snack to grab, I'll grab the wrong thing. That means taking a piece of fruit or veggies or dried crackers with me when I travel a distance. I'm going to try to stay as much raw as I can even while in Florida. I can't wait to go to the beach! My sister has a condo on the Atlantic Ocean and it's heavenly . . .

 Do you really believe that raw crap? 

I've been asked this. And I've been given a list of websites that will poo poo anyone claiming that raw foods will cure anything and there are lists of alternative doctors to stay away from. It's up to you, but I don't put much faith in the million dollar corporations, the cancer societies, and those behind the pharmaceutical companies. I think that those that have less to gain are perhaps more reliable—plus, I believe the simple truth will be revealed, if you look closely.

I watched a video by Dr. Lorraine Day (she's on one of those lists) this week: Cancer Doesn't Scare Me Anymore. She has quite a testimony and it gave me some things to ponder. I find I need to stay focused and watching DVDs or reading uplifting, motivating books help me stay tuned to my healthy mission. According to Dr. Day (a practicing MD), many disease processes are the result of dehydration of our cells. I found that an interesting perspective. 

You know how people drink coffee and soda and sweetened juice a lot? (I even know of people who don't like water and never drink it.) How can the cells get hydrated that way? And so many people don't eat adequate fruits or vegetables (with high water content). Our bodies need pure water—that's mostly what we are. I'm making the effort to drink more water.

So, here's another of those sweet dessert snacks that I won't eat too often . . .

Scrumptious Truffles

For many years I made what we called No Bake Munchies, a recipe similar to this one, but where you'd boil honey and some butter for one minute together and then add in natural peanut butter and whatever other ingredients you wanted to amount to 3 cups worth. Now, I make a variety of nut/seed/fruit balls and bars that are mostly raw and better for you.

Benjamin Mixes the Truffles

Carob/Almond Truffles

It was fun to have Benjamin join us for this Desserts Class where he whipped up this truffle recipe. They're great!

1/2 cup honey
1 cup uncooked oats
2 tsp. ground flax seed
1 cup almond butter
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup carob powder
14 tsp sea salt

1 cup minced nuts (cashews, walnuts, or pecans)

Mix first list of ingredients together and roll mixture into one inch balls. Roll balls in nuts. Refrigerate.
"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."—Albert Einstein

Friday, July 22, 2011

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake and what to do with an Abundance of Bananas

Lynne, our raw food prep instructor checks out the cheesecake consistency

Years ago, one of my sons did a fun science project that surveyed people's favorite foods. Guess which dessert was mentioned the most? Cheesecake was #1. 

I'm right in there—it's one of mine as well, so I was really looking forward to tasting this! But watch out . . . nuts in the crust, nuts in the filling . . . it's a high calorie treat to save for a special occasion. But, it's dense with protein and good-for-you fats, and antioxidants.

The recipe for Raw, Non-Dairy Blueberry Cheesecake is found at Hallelujah Acres and you'll find it below.

Raw, Non-Dairy Blueberry Cheesecake

Make a crust as per the recipe or to your liking. The general recipe I use is: 2 cups nuts like almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, (soaked and drained preferably), 1/2 cup pitted dates or combined with part organic raisins, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, adding teaspoons of honey (or agave) or maple syrup as needed to hold it together. Process in a food processor and press into pie pan. If you layer some coconut on the bottom of the plate, it will help to lift your piece of pie from the plate.

  • 3 ½ cups cashews (soaked 2 hours and drained)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup raw unfiltered honey
  • ¾ cup raw coconut butter
  • ¼ vanilla bean or 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Place all filling ingredients in a powerful blender like a Vita-Mix. (You could use a food processor, but it won’t make it as creamy.) Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour onto crust. Cover and place in freezer until firm.

What to do with an Abundance of Bananas

 Frozen Banana/Fruit Ice Cream

We are fortunate to get 5 lbs. of bananas for 19 cents/lb on Wednesdays at the local grocery store. So for a year now, my oldest son would pick up 5 lbs. after work, and my husband and I would pick up 5 lbs. each. That's a lot of bananas! When Benjamin (son #3) was still living at home, he'd eat a bunch but I'd always have leftover ripe bananas. Sometimes I'd make banana bread, and then I'd  peel and cut-up the rest, and place them in zip-lock bags to freeze. These would be used in fruit smoothies for sure, but after so many weeks, the banana bags were piling up in the freezer. What to do with them all?

Make frozen banana ice cream and flavor it with any choice of frozen fruit or berries. Mix it up! Just use the blank attachment for your juicer (not the one with holes in it for juicing). Push the frozen fruit chuncks through your juicer and it comes out like smooth soft ice cream. You can then freeze what you don't eat right away. Ice cream could also be made in a powerful blender. This has got to be my favorite raw treat—especially with frozen blueberries or strawberries . . . yum.

Raw Frozen Fruit and Cookie Dessert topped with Banana Ice Cream

How did we make this banana split-like concoction? Split a banana on the bottom. Top that with fresh or frozen fruit, add a raw cookie and top with banana ice cream. Fabulous! Especially on a hot summer day.

Lynne's Raw Cookie:

Process in food processor:
1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
1 Banana
2 Apples
Grind to powder in coffee grinder: 1/2 cup flaxseeds or flax meal

Mix all this with:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup coconut
1-2 T carob powder (optional if want chocolate taste)
Can add cinnamon or nuts or roll them in seasonings before drying

Form into flat cookies as thin or thick as you like, dry overnight 105 degrees in dehydrator. Eatable while still moist or dry them crisp.

Fruit Roll-ups

Did you know that you can dehydrate smoothie mixtures? Take those leftover bananas and mix with other fruits in a blender. Spread on teflex dehydrator sheets and dry them. You'll need to flip them onto the regular mesh dehydrator sheets after several hours when they hold together better. When ready to flip, put the regular tray on top of your teflex sheet with mixture on it and flip it, and help lift it around the edges with a knife or utensil. When dry, roll them up or tear up in pieces. These are a delightful snack.

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” 
—Edward Stanley

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Raw Pizza and Zucchini Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

Raw Pizza

OK, I admit it doesn't look as appealing as Pizza Hut or even Red Baron, but I guarantee you, it is delicious, with the flavors of real pizza! In fact, this pizza was probably the most "real" pizza I've ever eaten. 

Nothing's cooked, and all ingredients remain highly nutritious with enzymes intact. It's a remarkable alternative for someone maintaining a raw healing lifestyle who still wants to eat pizza every so often. Yeah, the crust takes some prep time, but it's worth it.

We made this in the raw food prep class and I think I could have made it look more pizza-like, had I been the one adding that top layer you see pictured. So, what is pictured?

Layers in order of operation:
—A raw dehydrated crust
—Sunflower Ricotta (not)cheese
—Marinara Sauce
—Vegetable Topping
(Recipes at the end of post)

Spiralizing zucchini (spaghetti)

I am not a gadget person. I have several different cutting gadgets I don't ever use, but I couldn't wait to try out my new kitchen tool. The World Cuisine Spiralizer was under $30, easy to use and clean, and I know I'll be using it often. I want to make dehydrated veggie noodles too.

Zucchini Spaghetti

The noodles were fun to make: "Guys you gotta come see this!" And so I made Zucchini Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce (same awesome sweet sauce as on our pizza—recipe below) and served it to my husband and oldest son. They wanted theirs warmed (it's raw, remember) so I warmed it and we all ate a big plateful. Before they took a bite I told my dinner guests, "Think pasta now." After he had a few mouthfuls, my husband said, "Well, I'm thinking zucchini, but I still like it." THIS WAS SO GOOD! And there you have another great healthy dinner menu favorite that will replace the standard less-healthy fare!

The Recipes

Pizza Crust:
1.5 cups buckwheat soaked at least 8 hrs, drain. Presoak 1 cup sunflower seeds at least 6 hrs, drain. Presoak 6 sun-dried tomato halves for one hour, drain. Puree all of the above with 1 clove garlic and 1/2 or 1 tomato in food processor. Add the following: 3 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 cup carrot pulp (optional), and process until well mixed. Spread mixture thin into pizza shapes on nonstick dehydrator sheet trays. Dehydrate for 24 hrs., flipping onto regular dehydrator tray midway.
Sunflower Ricotta: Please see the link for recipe
 Add Parmesan-like cheese topping by dehydrating the ricotta recipe.
Marinara Sauce (used for pizza and spaghetti) scroll down on the right if using the link:
  • 12 sun-dried tomato halves
  • 4-5 dates, pitted (this makes it sweet, use less if don't want sweet)
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 sweet/red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato soak water (optional, leave out if like thicker)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil (or 1/2 cup fresh basil)
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
 Presoak dried tomatoes and dates in water for at least an hour. Puree all ingredients, adding in herbs last. For a chunkier sauce, I used 2 large fresh tomatoes and reserved one half to cut into chunks to add in before serving.
Pizza Vegetable Topping:
Thinly sliced tomatoes, onions, colorful sweet bell peppers, grated zucchini and or summer squash. Marinate if preferred.
Here is a raw vegan pizza recipe comparable to ours (scroll down the page) that will make a lot of crust and a lot of pizza. There are videos to watch too.

"Never eat more than you can lift." —Miss Piggy

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Salad—the Best Part of the Meal . . .

Fresh Dinner Salad

About 30 years ago our invited dinner guest informed me that she didn't eat Iceberg lettuce—it gave her indigestion. I think she mentioned that Iceberg compared to other leaf lettuces, was inferior in enzymes and nutritional value. Anyway, what did I serve her? An Iceberg lettuce salad. She may have thought less of me, but she didn't say a word, and continued to be a friend for a long time. It took a few years but my salads have since morphed into a variety of superior greens with colorful veggie, fruit, and seed additives.

Don't be afraid to include fruit. Fruit goes well with greens—it's the meat and fruit mixture you want to stay away from (very gas forming). Recently I was with a friend at Wendy's. I had the salad with fresh blueberries and strawberries. I felt like I was eating somewhere other than a fast food joint—it was SO good and fresh tasting! I had never had blueberries in a salad before.

Do I buy all organic you may wonder? I think I'll save that for a separate posting, but no, I am branching out and buying more organic than ever before, but I've not arrived there yet. Wash your produce well. I was just given a list in class of the must buy organic foods. I'll share more another time.

Kim-chee (Korean Spiced Cabbage)

If you like hot and spicy, no doubt you've had this at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant. My husband used to buy a jar of Kim-chee (there may be other spellings for this) from the refrigerated produce section of the grocery store—at a high price. He hunted down a recipe off the Internet that I have modified (well, it's a little different every time I make it). Wilted napa cabbage and cayenne turns this fermented Korean salad into a hot dish alright. I  used crushed pepper this time and it was too hot for my liking, but my husband said it was perfect for him. 

It's an ancient traditional dish and though I can't find the recipe I orginally used here's one you may like: How to Make Homemade Kim Chee This recipe is very close to my modified recipe. I usually use 1 tsp cayenne (1 tsp of crushed red pepper made my medium-size napa cabbage too hot for my liking but ideal for my husband), lots of fresh minced garlic, and we love fresh ginger if I have it. I also add a little oriental toasted sesame oil and tamari for soy sauce. It's actually very good without letting it sit and ferment, but the recipe calls to let it sit in a glass jar on the counter for 24 hrs. or more, then refrigerate.

So, what was in mine? 1 med. head Nappa cabbage, 1/2 T salt (pour over cut-up cabbage in bowl and leave to stand for 4 hours, then squeeze out and discard liquid and place cabbage in a glass jar). I then added 1/2 small yellow onion, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1 grated carrot. Mix the following ingredients and pour over cabbage mixture: 2 T minced garlic, 1/4 c tamari (soy sauce), 3/4 tsp raw sugar, 1/2 c vinegar, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 T toasted sesame oil. Let sit for at least 24 hours and eat.

Layered Salad

I bought a  clear, see-through bowl to use for my layered green salads and fruit parfaits. Layer one ingredient at a time and mix up the colors (purple cabbage, grated orange carrot, red tomatoes, etc.). Top by arranging items in an attractive design or mix up your favorite batch of dressing and pour over the top letting it settle into the salad layers. From the side of a clear bowl you will see the colorful layers which makes for an inviting pot luck salad or anytime meal. If you are not eating all raw, you could add a layer of veggie macaroni for more variety. Use your imagination along with what's in your fridge.

My Favorite Salad Dressing:

1 cup Veganaise (purple top)
2 tsp. Dijon style mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T fresh basil chopped (herbs of your choice)
1-2 fresh garlic minced
1 T fresh lemon or lime juice

Mix all ingredients together. You may add 1/4 cup water if you like it thinner.

Apple Pie Salad

Apple Pie Salad is delicious as is, or scooped into a nut crust lined pie plate, cobbler style. I've made this several times using the food processor and making my pieces a bit smaller. In class, the ingredients were hand-cut, chunky-style. Ten-year-old Nick couldn't wait to get his spoon into this and he was rightly rewarded!

  • 4 apples, diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • 1/2 cup organic oats
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Just mix, spoon, and enjoy!

Nick Mixes the Rawcaroni Salad

Nick and his mom, Chris, made this in our raw recipes class. It really did have a surprising macaroni-like taste. I didn't think I'd especially enjoy this salad, but I did. I'd make it again.

Chop all the vegetables into small pieces and put in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir. Serve.

  • 1/2 cup vegenaise
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T agave nectar or honey
  • 2 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated

 Close-up view of Rawcaroni Salad

Mock Chicken Salad Stuffed Cucumber Boats
Cucumber boats, tomato rosettes and half red bell pepper cups are the perfect complement to mock chicken (or tuna) salads. My husband and I were at a vegetarian potluck dinner where one of the guests brought mock salmon salad arranged in the tip of baby bok choy leaves. He dripped a spicy tahini/tamari sauce on top. My husband actually thought it was salmon. Very gourmet and palate pleasing.

Here is an easy recipe for Holly's Tomato Rosette (mock chicken salad). You can also do a search for raw mock tuna salad on the Internet and come up with many more recipes. 


  • 1 medium Ripe Tomato
  • 1/2 cup of Raw Nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.)
  • 1 cup Raw Mixed Veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, sweet onion, celery, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon Health Mayonnaise (Vegenaise or Nayonaise)


  1. In a Food Processor, with the S blade in place, put in the nuts and veggies, and process only until coarsely chopped.
  2. Stir in a little mayonnaise—just enough to moisten.
  3. Take the tomato and cut it into a rosette. Don't cut it all the way through, but leave a little on the bottom to hold it together.
  4. Open up the rosette and spoon the vegetable/nut mixture on top, or into a cucumber boat, etc.
 Quote to ponder:
"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny."
—attributed to Thomas Jefferson (1778)
Next Time: Raw Pizza and Zucchini Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce . . . you wouldn't believe how wonderful these are!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Munchies . . . so GOOD for you!

Red Hot Snacker Crackers and Spinach Dip

I've experimented with a number of dehydrated seed/nut crackers but was not satisfied with the crispness or taste. Then I found these zippy, crunchy, satisfying snackers that go great with your favorite dips or eat them plain. My husband loves these and so do I.

Red Hot Snackers a recipe from Hallelujah Acres


  • 3 cups Sunflower Seeds (soaked for 4 hrs and drained)
  • 1 cup Flax Seeds
  • 2 large Tomatoes chunked
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt (or to taste)

Directions: Add 1 cup flax seeds and 2 cups water to sunflower seeds. Let stand for 1 hour. DO NOT DRAIN. Mix with remaining ingredients, then process in a food processor ( process half and then add the other half). Pour about 1/6 of mixture onto teflex dehydrator tray and spread thin with a spatula. Dehydrate till dry. 

This recipe made five full dehydrator trays full for me. If you don't like spicy, go easy on the pepper flakes. I went easy—they were still spicy and perfect. I dehydrated at 105 degrees for 7 hrs. and then turned over them onto regular mesh sheets to finish drying for another 7 hrs. Drying time depends on the thickness.

Raw Spinach Dip
This recipe comes from Everyday Wholesome Eating in the Raw which is in my top favorites of raw food recipe books. We made this in the Cookin' in the Raw class and everyone loved it, so I made it myself at home. It makes a huge amount, and since I was the main one eating it at home (with my red hot snackers) next time I will halve the recipe. Also, it calls for dill weed but I substituted fresh basil. It was my first time using avocado for anything!


3/4 c. sunflower seeds, 1 tomato, 1 avocado, 1/2 c. water, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 c. fresh parsley, 1 T Tahini, 2 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. mustard powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 3 T olive oil, 1/2 tsp dill weed (or your herb choice), pinch cayenne (I used pepper flakes), 1 bunch spinach, 2 T dried onion (optional)

  1. Presoak sunflower seeds for at least 6 hours.
  2. Process seeds with the rest of ingredients except spinach, in BLENDER. Spinach can be chopped then added toward the end for a finer blend. Use a high powered blender as it is thick.
Variation: Add grated carrot, chopped pepper, celery and sweet onion.

Buckwheatie Bars

We made these in the Cookin' in the Raw class too. Everyone loved them—well, what's not to love? Here is the Buckwheatie Bars recipe on the web so I'm not repeating it here. I would like to experiment and use other grains or oats. It's a process to soak and then dehydrate the buckwheat ahead of time, but it's doable if you plan ahead. I had some very old buckwheat I dug out of the freezer but had no luck with the soaking and sprouting so I didn't use it. The red things in the bars above are goji berries (see pic at top left of my blog as well). You can add whatever you want to this recipe (same with the hedgehog balls below). Delicious!

Raw Cashew Fudge

I made these for a pot luck and several people asked for my recipe. Don't expect the sugary taste of Grandma's Christmas fudge, but these are a healthy decadent treat (don't eat too many). I formed some in rounds, then added walnuts to the remaining mixture and formed mini squares for the rest. Refrigerate immediately at least one hour. I keep a batch in the freezer to grab one when desired or when company comes. They thaw pretty quick.

Here is where I found this recipe. (The photo at the website is not correct—I have no idea what they have pictured there.) I added in some coconut to my recipe. Yum! I'm making another batch tonight.

  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked and drained)
  • 1/3 cup carob or cocoa powder (I added some raw cacao nibs to carob powder in the ones pictured)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave 
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut (optional)
Directions: Grind first three ingredients together in a food processor until fine. Add wet ingredients to dry (adding in the coconut) and blend until a dough ball forms. Roll into balls or spread in a pan and refrigerate until very firm.

Here's another recipe that uses a cashew butter base with raw cacao nibs.

 Smiling Benjamin, my kitchen helper who moved away (brother Jeremie on the left)

Hedgehog Balls

Another wonderful, sweet, and healthy treat recipe from Hallelujah Acres, and similar to the above recipe. I've made these for a few years now, sometimes substituting ingredients (dried fruit, nuts, seeds) for what I had on hand. They always turned out great. My son Benjamin raved about these and used to make them (too bad he moved over an hour away—sniff).


  • 1 cup pitted dates (soak for 30 min. and drain)
  • 1 cup organic raisins
  • 1 cup raw almonds (soaked and drained)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp raw carob (or unsweetened chocolate powder)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey


  1. Place dates and raisins in food processor and blend into small pieces.
  2. Add the almonds, oats, coconut, and carob powder.
  3. Blend until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  4. Add the extracts and honey.
  5. Stop the machine, and check if the texture is correct by taking a small amount into the palm of your hand and roll into a ball. If the mixture does not bind, add extra honey or some apple juice.
Why soak your nuts and seeds?
If you read enough raw food recipes you'll see that often the nuts/seeds are soaked first. There's a good reason for this. Here is an explanation according to Raw Food Living:

The Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds
  • Enzyme inhibitors get neutralized.
  • The amount of vitamins your body can absorb increases.
  • Gluten breaks down so digestion is much easier.
  • Phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals, is reduced.
There is a more detailed explanation at the Raw Food Living site if you are interested, including a lengthy Soaking and Sprouting Times Chart.

Quote to ponder: 
"Everyone should consider his body as a priceless gift from one whom he loves above all, a marvelous work of art, of indestructible beauty, and mastery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay a thought, may injure it.
—Nikola Tesla, 1900

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Green Pudding, Raw Peach Pie, and other Goodies

    Years ago I went to Tonya Zavasta's workshop and discovered Green Pudding. She has the Beautiful on Raw website which has a lot of interesting information along with recipes. All she did was fill a powerful blender half full with greens and topped that off with fruit—in this case mango—and blended them together till smooth. It was so delicious! You can experiment with your choice of greens and fruit. It's a terrific way to get kids to eat their veggies.

    Raw Peach Pie

    My recipe was very similar to this one at Dr. Ritamarie's Vibrant Health blog. My crust was different, and I used a small amt of chia seeds and one mashed banana in the fruit filler. And I did not top mine with coconut (but had some coconut in the crust).

    My Raw Nutty Crust: 
    • 2 cups soaked (overnight) raw whole almonds (walnuts or a mixture of nuts works too—you can substitute granola for one of the cups if desired.)
    • 7 large dates (soaked one hour)
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • half handful of unsweetened coconut
    • 1 Tbs (or more) honey or maple syrup or fruit juice as needed to get a sticky consistency 
    Process all in a food processor then pat this into your pie plate. Top with pie filling, arranging peach slices on top. Refrigerate. I like mine half frozen.

     Raw Strawberry Pie

    The simplest raw strawberry pie recipe is this one at Hallelujah Acres. Search their recipe files for great 100% - 85% raw healthy choices. I've made this many times, but forgot to take a picture. (Mine did not look as pretty as the one shown at but it was delicious.)

     Lemon Love Cookies

    Made with only FOUR simple ingredients:
    • Cashews
    • Lemon
    • Coconut
    • Dates
    Here is the recipe I used: Lemon Love Cookies. But I flattened mine in a cookie shape and did not dip in coconut. I do love these. When you are not eating flour and sugar products, the natural foods are so tasty. The lemony flavor is tangy and it satisfies when I just need a little something. I kept my batch in the freezer to grab on-the-go. Very healthy snack!

    Today I'll leave you with a quote from Thomas Edison:  

    “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” 

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Breakfast in the Raw

    Watermelon in July; it's so refreshing. 
    That was my breakfast this morning.

     What other great tasting raw treats am I eating for breakfast? 

    I made Mimi Kirk's Chia Pudding, though mine was too thick. Don't add too many chia seeds. You can watch her making it here.

    If you like yogurt like I do, just add fresh fruit and mashed banana to plain yogurt. Add cinnamon and a scant sprinkling of stevia.
    Most often I make a smoothie mid-morning. A green fruit smoothie. I was delighted to find out that you can add fresh greens to a fruit based smoothie and not even tell. My favorites are kale, spinach and bok choy. Pictured is a Raspberry Peach Green Smoothie. Here's my basic recipe but there are probably thousands of variations (use a powerful blender or it will burn out your motor):

    Basic Green Fruit Smoothie
    • Fresh or frozen seasonal fruits (cut up) of your choice (banana base is always good)
    • 1 cup juice (bottled or fresh) or 1 cup water with 2 tbs of lemon or lime juice
    • 1/2 to 1 cup of plain yogurt, optional
    • Scant sprinkle of stevia (sweetener) optional (or agave or honey if desired)
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil, optional
    • Sprinkle of chia seeds, optional (thickener and good for you)
    • Handful of ice
    • Handful of fresh greens
    • 1-2 Tbs of green powder mix (many choices to choose from)
    Mix and enjoy!

    Mini Breakfast Tostadas

    I wanted to make my own living corn chips from local grown corn. It's easy!

    This is the recipe  I used based on one in Live Raw by Mimi Kirk:

    Cut 8 ears of corn off the cob. Process along with 1/2 cup ground flax seed, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp of Chili Seasoning, and 4 sun dried tomato halves (soaked for an hr and drained). Drop by large spoonfuls on teflex dehydrator sheets and smooth thin with a spatula. Dehydrate 12 hrs, flip onto regular mesh tray, and go another 12 hours or more till crispy.

    Top with greens, tomato, and your favorite sauce. A wonderful way to start the morning or an anytime snack!

    Note: If you keep the temp below 110 degrees, you will maintain the important enzymes in your foods.

    Fresh Fruit Salad is also common for breakfast. Probably our favorite. Use whatever goodies you have on hand.

    Sad to say, but I don't juice too often (uh, using a juicer), but it's an excellent breakfast! Carrot, apple, garlic, lemon, ginger is my mainstay. It's fun to experiment. Celery juice is supposed to lower blood pressure. Norman Walker's book on juicing is a classic and great book on juicing for healing.

    There's granola and almond milk along with many other options but this is all I'll share today. Happy eating—and never feel guilty about your food choices; enjoy whatever you eat!

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    My Two Week Journey—I'm Lovin' This!

    I'm going to get into the tasty stuff I'm making here soon, like the blueberry pancakes you see below, but at the two week marker here I've got some changes taking place and I'm kind of thrilled about it.

    • Numero uno: I've had no terrible carb cravings ever since the third day of this new mostly raw diet. I didn't even miss my cappuccino that has been a given for many years. Before, around mid afternoon to evening I'd be scrounging for something made with flour or sugar or salt, or all these combined. I knew not to eat it, but my body overcame my mind and always won out. I'm figuring that now that my body knows what nourishment is, it isn't going bananas on me, and I have the self control I've longed for in this area. Makes it easier you know.
    • Dos: My blood pressure dropped! In previous months, my BP ranged from 170/100 to 154/90. Way too high! After only one week on mostly raw foods, it was the lowest I've had: 130/78. I haven't added salt to my food for two months, but I've read that the potassium and magnesium content in certain fruits and veggies help to lower BP too. And some vegetables naturally lower blood pressure in different ways.
    • Tres: I'm less a zombie in the AM. A little more bright eyed and clear-headed now. The fatigue is lifting, though this 100 degree heat does not help things.
    • Quatro: I lost five pounds! I actually hoped to have lost ten by this point, but seriously, eating raw peach pie (nutty crust) for five days in a row will make your body think it should pack on the pounds—not shed them. Too many nuts and good-for-you oils are high calorie you know. I better watch that.
    • Cinco: I'm having so much FUN! After the months of stress in studying for my nursing exam, I'm just chillin' and finding time to do what I enjoy. As you'll see here shortly, I've had the dehydrator in good use and my food processor and blender are daily instruments. I'm taking a weekly raw foods prep class again with my friend Lynne, a Hallelujah Health Minister. I think tomorrow we are making raw pizza. Can't wait.
     For the record, I'm not eating all raw, just mostly raw, probably 90-95% raw. I did have salmon and tuna at restaurants along with some cooked vegetables. But I also made a chocolate cake (just had to have a taste) on the Fourth of July. I'm not a purist, just wanting changes for better health, progressing toward a goal.

    Banana Blueberry Pancakes

    These pancakes were one of the first yummy treats I made. Taken from Live Raw by Mimi Kirk. I love her beautiful book and my husband told me I can make them any time I want (that good!). All you need are:
    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 1 tbs honey (or agave)
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
    • 1/2 cup blueberries.
    Mix together saving half the blueberries to add in last. Drop onto a teflex (nonstick) dehydrator sheet making four pancakes. Dehydrate for about eight hours, flipping onto a regular dehydrator tray midway. I made this simple recipe late one evening to have ready and warm for breakfast the next day. Excellent!

    Making a Healthy Decision

    For the past 10 years our family has made baby steps toward improving our health through eating better: enjoying less processed foods, getting rid of saturated fats, grinding my own flour and making homemade bread, ditching the soda for lemon water in restaurants, reading labels to avoid MSG and high fructose corn syrup, purchasing aluminum-free ingredients, buying natural nut butters, eating less meat, using farm fresh eggs, making smoothies, juicing every here and there, taking supplements . . . you get the picture.

    Along the way I was introduced to the idea of an almost all raw foods diet and became intrigued with the variety of dishes, snacks, and even scrumptious deserts that can be made. They were nutritious living foods that still held their enzymes (not cooked away) and provided nourishment on a cellular level.  I met people that no longer needed prescription drugs, had remissions from cancer, and never got colds (is that possible?).

    I collected recipes, I bought a bunch of un-cookbooks, I even took a raw foods prep class—but I couldn't seem to do it for more than a week, and my family of 4 sons and my muscular, larger than normal husband demanded what habit made them accustomed to for so many years. And, I was a "comfort" food eater. My daily cappuccino was a must; besides, my dear hubby filled our shelves with  great packaged buys from the local discount bent and dent stores. Better than name brand items, but still ZERO in enzymes.

    At age 57 (with a lot of potential), I secretly wished for some motivation. Maybe something heaven sent.

    High blood pressure—170/100? 40 lbs. overweight? Consistent sinus snorting? Depression? Fatigue? Headaches? Candida infection? OMG!

    I cut out most dairy (especially cheese), ate only tuna or wild caught salmon and a rare bit of chicken. I suddenly had no sinus drainage and the recurring yeast infection halted. THEN . . .

    I watched a new DVD I had purchased months prior but hadn't gotten around to viewing: Simply Raw, Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. WOW! I was fascinated—six diabetics made remarkable changes on an all raw diet. Hmmm . . . I wonder what 30 days (or 60 or 90) could do for me?

    Here was sweet motivation. I was so tired of being Zombie Wife and Mom in the morning. I decided to become a Raw Foods Chef for 30 Days and have FUN using that dehydrator I bought last year and trying out those many collected recipes. So this month, I'm having the best time taking care of me and learning how I might turn this into a needed lifestyle change.

    Follow me to see what I'm making and eating—some amazing food! (See that pretty organic rainbow chard up above? What can I do with that?)